Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

More on Marriage

July 23rd, 2009 · 3 Comments

Staying on the marriage string, we wanted to note a stat we found buried in this recent piece on Unification Church mass weddings. The reporter found a figure that Microkhan has long been on the hunt for, regarding the divorce rate for arranged marriages (of the non-Moonie sort):

Amitrajeet A. Batabyal, an economics professor at Rochester Institute of Technology who has studied arranged marriages in Southeast Asia, Europe and the United States, said he believes about 15 percent to 20 percent of arranged marriages around the world end in divorce…By contrast, a 2005 National Center for Health Statistics report showed that 35 percent of women and 31 percent of men in the United States had ended their first marriages after 10 years.

The standard caveats apply, of course: the data is highly suspect because divorce is both legally tougher and more socially stigmatized in nations where its commonly practiced. We’d love to know if Batabyal has any way of breaking out the U.S. figures alone, which we’d assume involve first-generation immigrants of the sort mentioned in the post below.

On the flip side, divorces are on the rise in India, the arranged-marriage heartland. And the U.S. divorce rate has simultaneously been falling, in part because couples of cohabiting longer before tying the knot (and thus getting better at figuring out who ain’t worth the plunge).

We still stand by our earlier assertion that there’s a “natural rate” of divorce which both laws and societal norms should view as a sensible target. How does 22.5 percent strike y’all?

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3 Comments so far ↓

  • Heath

    Interesting your 22.5 figure. May be true but I think the lead article on UC marriages which originated with the Baltimore Sun is a lot of propaganda. I read that the “reporter” spent several hours with long time Moon follower, Stephens. The reporter was plainly smitten by BS. He uses a UC study as back up? Oh My.

    He quickly passes over the fact that Stephens’ decision to join the UC was to get a wife, something Stephens admits he didn’t have the self confidence to do on his own and feared he may never get one any other way. That says a bundle.

    The fact that Stephens has fallen in love with his wife doesn’t mean Moon’s matching is wonderful. It means Moon, the only thing they had in common, got two people to buy his line of bs and they learned to get along. People are very adaptable and many feel they fall in love after they are married. If you are a Christian, picture yourself being told by Jesus to marry a stranger, you’d do it and LEARN to live with it. You’d make excuses for anything wrong and move on.

    There are a lot of horror stories from overseas about people getting caught in Moon’s web and after matching are taken to other countries and regret it.

    The Baltimore Sun reporter also acts as if the UC matches are just like any other society that practices it. That is ridiculous. He didn’t look at the past. It wasn’t until the last few years that UC parents became involved in matching so there are no stats on those. Until then it was Moon who did it. Is it common in any society to have one “messiah” who matches all the followers? Hundreds at a time? What society or religion does this? Not just one or two but all of the real followers? That is the way it was until recently. You had to show you had undying faith in Moon before you were matched by him. The organization was set up like a pyramid scheme, so you had to bring in three new members before you were considered for matching. Seriously. Is that how it is done in any other society? The reporter should have asked Stephens how many assets did he recruit for Moon before he got his wife.

    The article’s author mentions this is all part of the UC tenets. He could have added that this way of doing “marriage” is rooted in one of the primary teachings of Moon, what he calls “exchange marriage.” As the arbiter of God’s will, Moon teaches that one of God’s most fervent desires, a primary key to bringing in the “Kingdom” is that people should intermarry nationalities and races. It is part of Moon’s ‘unify the world under his ideology’ plans. What is not mentioned is that Moon, in another example of what a fraud he is, matched all of his own children to other Koreans. You won’t find any of Moon’s children matched to an African or an American. Former members say he believes Koreans are the master race.

    The reporter could have mentioned that when these folks were matched by Moon, as he was building a base of followers, that the newly matched couple had only one thing in common, Moon. His control is absolute, even tells them what positions to make love in the first three nights they are allowed to have sex.

    He could have mentioned that, as part of the marriage ritual, the wife and husband beat each other with a club. Seriously, they have to hit each other with the “indemnity stick.” Is this common in other societies that practice marriage matching?

    True the UC system may have changed but you can bet every parent’s matching is scrutinized.

    On 8/24/92 an article by Damon Darlin, a staff reporter of the WSJ, said that Moon, who is supposed to be in direct communication with God and the “spiritworld,” used bar codes on the photos to help him do the matching. One has to wonder if Moon used them because that rumor was true, that he once matched a brother and sister.

    Moon had a problem with his second generation though. He found that many of them had played around like most kids. Some had sex. This is like the biggest no-no of all, Moon teaches. He, of course, isn’t bound by his own rules having been married multiple times. They admit Mr. Family Values abandoned one wife and child. Abandoned them. Went to get rice and never came back. Of course he just tells his followers he was on a mission from God and they accept that, that is what they do. They now claim that Moon has since wrangled the former wife into the group so all is well; abandoning your wife and child is cool if you are the “messiah” in Moonland. Anyway, since many of the Moon second generation had not remained pure, he had a problem. He didn’t want to lose these assets, so what did he do? He declared an amnesty! Yes, all the kids were forgiven for their “sin” and got to move on. Moon refused to match them for they weren’t good enough. But they got to stay in the org and be matched by their parents and Moon can keep using them.

    Also, in the past, after matching it was often years before they lived together. How does that affect the stats? All this just scratches the surface as to why comparing divorce statistics on Moon marriages to others is absurd. The Moon organization was also famous for lying, using deception when recruiting. To not question any statistic they give which shows them in good light is naïve, at best.

  • Brendan I. Koerner

    @Heath: Thanks for the comment. I agree (as I’ve written previously) that the UC is ultra-creepy. No argument.

    Note, however, that I explicitly mentioned that the stats I pulled out (from Batabyal’s research) applied to non-Moonie weddings. So this post wasn’t really about the UC at all–just happened to be that I found the stats buried in an article about one of their weirdo mass weddings.

    Oh, and Damon Darlin! Great friend of mine. You should look up some of the killer A-heads he wrote while posted in Seoul for the WSJ. Best one ever was about how Spam is a luxury item over there.

  • Clarification on Divorce

    [...] on our parts, we attracted some mystified “huhs?” regarding yesterday’s post on arranged-marriage divorce rates versus those for “love” marriages. That admittedly confusing post, in turn, referred [...]

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